An early memory is being taken by my grandma to feed the ducks; I can’t now imagine where it might have been, somewhere in Cambridge, a small pool with a muddy edge and lots of apparently hungry ducks. Occasionally a swan would join them an as a small child it was fascinating but frightening, as big as I was. Later, when I was older and spent all my summers on the river with a friend in her canoe, we often encounter swans, sometimes in pairs, sometimes with a trail of cygnets.
There was a lovely story in the newspaper today about swans. They mate for life, and f one is widowed quite often the other never finds another partner. Poor Mrs Newby, an elegant pen lost her partner Mr Newby in a tragic accident. Somehow he flew into the side of a tower block and died as a result. The bereaved Mrs Newby was distraught, and even after some time, rejected any cobs who made moves to ingratiate themselves. She too got into difficulties and ended up being rescued from a roof and taken to a rescue centre. When she was deemed fit to be rehomed on some appropriate piece of open water, another swan a gentleman named Wallace, objected to the rescuers trying to apprehend her. It was decided that maybe Wallace and Mrs Newby should be rehomed together, and so they were taken to a lovely stretch of water. Some time later, in May this year, they appeared together, followed by seven young Newby-Wallaces. What a charming story!